BOLOGNA SHOAH MEMORIAL

LOCATION

Bologna, Italy

TYPOLOGY

Public Monument

TEAM

Arch. Manuele Mossoni
Arch. Carlo Gallelli

STATUS

Competition

YEAR

2015

Rationalize

The definition of design guidelines articulates through analytical exercises of the events and consequently their representation in material form. The assignment of a number is one of the mechanisms of moral debasement, a person’s identification with a number causes deletion of the perception of being an individual with self-identity.

The sadly notorious event’s nature presupposes a mechanism, which once operated, rationally leads to insane results. This mechanism can be deconstructed, as already done by many historians, and analyzed in every single part. This system displays a context consisting of a net of circumstances that dramatically transforms into a national policy.

Rebuild

The process implemented in this project, instead, introduces a reverse exercise. It all starts with a number. Starting from this statement, we have developed a concept that, holding within itself, the tragedy of a moment would clearly express the importance of memory as a formative element of the identity of each individual.

Is it possible to make numbers transmute into people again? We believe that this is possible.

We accepted this theoretical possibility of trying to implement it practically.
We have created an environment where lose oneself to find oneself supposes the acceptance of diversities. Different numbers, placed in the space nearly surrounding them, create an area in which people can find their place. We want to allow people to identify themselves with something. Choosing their number, the latter becomes something animated and, although only for a moment, becomes a participant of a somewhat voluntary choice.

It is not doubtlessly certain that the result shall be the desired one. However, as time goes by, we have also begun to consider the individual shapes as inhabitants of this urban territory. Number one, two, three began to take their own space, generating several and ever-changing perspectives.

The monument

The memorial consists of metallic numerical elements of variable size, to adapt them to become employable elements of space. Among the various white elements, it is possible to identify some of a different color. The colors are those of the fabric triangles that identified the various groups within the Nazi concentration camps and recall the whirlwind of events that develop around the White Crucifixion of Chagall.

The arrangement of the monument articulates on a rigid grid that invades the existing space seizing it. This creates a labyrinthine space that fits between our world and the impression we have of the world surrounding us.

The outer layers of the memorial’s elements are made of painted steel plates (1,2 cm thick) while the internal structure is composed of steel cross and upright sections profiles (square section 50 x 50 mm), to produce a rigid body with the external layers. Docking is achieved by bolting 50 x 50 cm plates to the existing floor.